Progress made on vets’ home renovations

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Progress is being made tonight at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy.

The state released about 7 million dollars to pay for construction already done at the home.

Louise Seaver lives in the Anderson building at the vets’ home. She said she and other residents are excited about planned renovations to their home after the 2015 Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak that claimed the lives of 14 people.

“This is a real home and that I think is the key word,” said Seaver.

But she said she’s concerned whether or not the work will still happen under Governor J.B. Pritzker’s new administration.

“I’m old enough to know that there’s been a lot of promises made, both to the soldier and to the people who live here, when this all started and I just hope most of them are kept because this is a good thing,” said Seaver.

Veterans’ home officials are confident renovations, like the ones at Hammond Hall, will continue even though all of the funding for the $230 million project has not been appropriated by the general assembly. They said a lot of the work will take place soon.

“You’re going to see some major power upgrades,” said administrator Troy Culbertson. “You will see some demolition, and some tunnel renovation to run those utilities through on campus. Those three things have to be completed in this next year.”

Culbertson said Elmore and Kent infirmaries are the next buildings to be demolished at the vets’ home. He expects those buildings to come down later this year after more residents are moved out of Elmore.

“Those two buildings are sitting right in the footprint of the proposed new facility.We’re looking at designs. We’re looking at programming. It’s going to be a very nice facility,” said Culbertson.

Meanwhile Seaver said she and other residents just want to be reassured that they will have their home for years to come.

“We just need some assurance that this place is going to stay up and open and it’s going to have the funding necessary to stay open and it is going to have the updates that are necessary,” said Seaver.

Vets’ home officials said there are surveyors in town inspecting the final renovations of Hammond Hall. Once that survey is complete, they plan to start moving about 50 more residents into the building.

RELATED:

Community previews new vets’ home plans

Final plans unveiled for the future of the Quincy Veterans’ Home

First building demolished at Illinois Veterans’ Home

Renovations begin on Sycamore health building for Vets’ Home use

Brett Knese

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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